THE SNP has been criticised by opposition politicians over out-of-date information on their website that suggested students could vote twice in next month’s election.

In a "handy guide" on registering how to vote, Nicola Sturgeon’s party said that "a person who has two homes (like a university student who has a term-time address and lives at home during holidays) can register to vote at both addresses if they’re in two different council areas, and can vote in the local elections for the two different councils."

While that's true in England, it's not true north of the border. The law changed late last year. 

The Electoral Commission says students now "need to choose one address and vote in only that area" when voting in a council election.

They warn that voting in more than one location “is a criminal offence.”

The information was first noticed by the Communist Party candidate for Leith Walk in Edinburgh, Richard Shillcock.

A spokesperson for the party said: “If this advice had been released by a smaller party, such errors would be less worrisome, as often these are carried out in error. However, for the ruling party of Holyrood, one would hope they have an understanding of electoral law within Scotland – especially as they continually talk about their concern about constitutional issues.”

Scottish LibDem MSP Willie Rennie said it looked “as if the SNP were advising students to commit a crime.”

Scottish Conservative MSP Donald Cameron said the SNP had “some serious explaining to do here.”

He added: "What on earth was their website doing advising students to break electoral law in Scotland?

"As the governing party, it's inexcusable that they were apparently unaware of the rules on voting.

"Rather than just quietly remove this post, they need to apologise, explain how this error was allowed to happen and issue an urgent correction on their website, explaining to students that they must choose one address only at which to vote."

The SNP told the Herald they had simply replicated the Electoral Commission advice that was in place at the time. 

Until April 14, the Electoral Commission's website told students that if their home and university addresses were in two different council areas, they could vote in council elections in both areas.

“This is because they are separate elections.”

The SNP says that when the Electoral Commission updated its website, they subsequently asked the party to do the same. 

The only exception for Scottish voters with two households is if one of the addresses is in Scotland and the other is another of the UK’s nations.